Yesterday, I shared a post on my Breaking Bread With Natasha blog about some unsettling news that I’ve been trying to process for several days. When you already don’t feel well, getting bad news doesn’t help. It takes a toll on you. Let me share here some of what I shared yesterday, and then a little more. My loving celebration for a beautiful person, inside and out.
One of my paternal cousins passed away last week. Her name is Felicia and she was my big cousin, even when (in elementary school) I surpassed her in height, I still looked up to her.
There she is, at the bottom center of the photo above. That’s her, circa 1978. For the longest, I was the baby cousin in the family, until Valarie (top right) and Felicia had children, and then I got to be a big cousin.
Felicia was always oh so cool to me. As a child I looked up to her. The way she walked, spoke, carried herself, and her smile—let’s just say, this little cousin wanted to be like her big cousin. It was really special that Felicia and Valarie would let me and their younger siblings, Sharmika and Damion (pictured above on either side of Felicia) hang with them even though they were much older than us.
How many teenagers will let their little cousin and siblings hang with them? Not many.
Clearly, Felicia and Valarie didn’t think it cramped their style too much. They entertained us for awhile, especially when our parents would go out somewhere. When it was time for them to go do their teenage thing, the three of us wanted to still hang with them, but we conceded the fact that we just weren’t old enough—or maybe we just understood that arguing with our parents was senseless, so we opted to do what most little kids do, run outside and play, or find something to get into in the house. But that didn’t mean we didn’t yearn to go with Felicia and the crew.
Felicia had this air, this presence about her, growing up and even in adulthood. Quiet but a force. Still but powerful. Subtle but strong. Always a mystery, so you had to get to know her. Her eyes and smile just draw you in. She was, is, and always will be a dynamic woman.
Thanks to social media we were able to reconnect after losing touch for a few years. This then allowed me to reconnect with two of her children, my younger cousins, and peek into their lives while they peeked into mine.
It’s difficult to hear that someone you love has transitioned; even when you know it’s the natural cycle of life. I know I should be celebrating her life and legacy, and the fact that she’s reunited with family and loved ones who transitioned earlier. It’s still difficult to embrace the reality that I can’t just click on her social media profile and say hello. She is missed. She will be missed.
The last time I saw her, in-person, was at our uncle Archie’s funeral in 2017. Here are a couple of pictures at the repast.
Do you see her? She’s easy to spot. Still a ray of light!
I send love to my family, and to Felicia’s extended family and friends. May God comfort and strengthen them. Please say a prayer for everyone that knows and loves Felicia. Thank you.